How to Sell Fiction on the Internet
Suzan L. Wiener

Want to write for the Internet? Hereís a way I found that has helped me make more sales and should help you too.

I have found writing for the Internet is quite different from writing for print magazines. Print magazines have more space which allows the writer a bit more leeway to write somewhat Ďloosely.í In a print magazine, you can explain the character's background in a broader scope, and give character traits, etc. When your story appears on the Internet, it needs to be tightly written.

Of course, the author has to make every word count there also, but on the Internet you need to start your story where the action is. That is the most important. You need to build the conflict (action) to keep the editor and reader interested. And, the climax of your story must be credible. For instance, if you are writing a story for children, donít have an adult solve the childís problem. Have the child solve it. Otherwise, the editor will lose interest in it. What could have been a sale, unfortunately wonít be.

I always do a plot outline when I write short stories. Here is what I follow that helps to organization my story. It will help you also.

I. Major characters
   a. List the main character(s)

II. Minor characters
   a. List the minor character(s)

III. Complications (should always move the story forward)

IV. Subplot (if any)

V. Crisis (turning point)

VI. Resolution (end of story)

Below are several tips to help you get that most- welcomed acceptance.

Make your writing tight and get to the point immediately.

  1. This is very important. You have to grab the editorís and readerís interest immediately with your story. This way, the editor wonít reject it out-of-hand. They will want to keep reading. Donít wait until you get to the third paragraph. It must draw the editor and reader in in the first sentence. Make it as interesting as you can. If the reader is sleepy, get her or him to wake up quickly with your exciting words.

  2. Make sure to double-check spelling errors, etc. Online editors donít have time to check for that. (nor do print editors for that matter). They want you to do the editing. If there are too many errors, your piece will definitely be rejected. Use a spell-checker.

  3. Even if you check several times itís easy to miss something. Make sure your words flow smoothly. If it sounds choppy, it wonít pass the first reader and will be rejected. Read it out loud to get the way it sounds and edit any words that arenít needed.

  4. Make sure you know what youíre writing about. Donít write about something you only have a little knowledge about. Make sure to research what you need to know, giving credit when you use sources and quotes. The editor will know if youíre not familiar with your subject. Double check the information you have cited and give credit to the author. Asking for their permission is the right thing to do.

  5. Read the guidelines and study their past issues. If you do this, you will have a better feel for what they need and you wonít send in something inappropriate, wasting your time and worse, the editorís time. If you donít follow their guidelines, the editor will think you didnít take time with your work either. Look at search engines like ďGoogle,Ē for writing markets that sell fiction online. Simply type in Ďpaying writing markets,' and click the search button.

  6. Try submitting your work to paying markets first. Donít sell yourself short and think your work isnít good enough to get payment for it.

  7. If the editor wants you to edit your story, let him/her. Donít think that your words are so wonderful they canít be changed. If they feel you are not going to cooperate with them, your submission wonít find its way to publication.

If you follow the above rules, youíll most likely to see your work on the Internet and a have a most-welcomed check in your mailbox. 

This article is the sole property of the author. It is produced here with the author's permission.  The unauthorized use or reprinting of an article is illegal, and will be prosecuted at the discretion of the author.


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About the Writer:

Suzan L. Wiener has had many articles on writing, short stories, poems and other short pieces published in Coffee Break for Writers, MetroSeven (Australia), Sacred Twilight, Mature Living, Mature Years, NEB Publishing, Saturday Evening Post, etc. She now has unrhymed and rhymed e-books and chapbooks up at The Readers Retreat